Entries Tagged as 'Gardening'

Flowers from the Cutting Garden



Ocean City Houses 2

Do you like to garden?  I do. My mom has always had the most fantastic green thumb and incredible gardens. On the weekends we used to go to the garden store and come home with all kinds of flowers for the garden. I can still remember walking up and down aisles and aisles of flowers picking out my favorites. I never lost that love and to this day I want to take home almost every plant I see. Which is funny because I can keep outdoor plants alive but tend to kill houseplants. Don’t ask me why that is.

Ocean City Gardens 3

Yesterday, Nikolas and I spent most of the day raking up the remnants of autumn from the side yard. We gathered up FOURTEEN bags of leaves and old dead weeds. That part of the yard has been oakley sunglasses cheap left relatively untouched by us as we focused on other parts in the yard. It’s a mess. It’s is rocky, hilly and grows weeds like I’ve never seen before.   I have so far refused to take photos of it. It’s that bad.

Ocean City Gardens 4

As I was raking and raking and raking some more I got to thinking about how I’d love to have a cutting garden somewhere. We’ve planted a lot of flowers around the yard but none solely dedicated to bringing indoors. I always feel torn about whether I should bring them inside or leave them outdoors to enjoy.

image via

Wouldn’t a garden solely dedicated to bringing in armloads of flowers into the house be perfection?

The top 3 images I took on a trip last summer the bottom image via Ann Kearsley design.

Our Little Garden by the Lake



Hello everyone,

How are you all doing?

Have any good plans for the weekend?

BBQ? Beach? Pool?

Our weekend starts early tomorrow so I’m already looking forward to our 4 days home.

Gerber Daisies

Our garden is coming along nicely now, every year we add some color by planting a few annuals here and there.

Each year is different. Usually we just go to the garden shop and buy whatever we like.

Gerber Daisies are always one of my favorites so they came home with us.


Geraniums, they like the sun, we have lots of sun….so they came home with us too.

Vinca and Petunias

A few Vincas and Petunias also made their way home with us.

Flowers are addicting, I may have to go pick up some more 🙂

Enter the Hornbeams



It’s time to fill you in a bit on what’s been happening around here on the garden front. Back in March I shared some of our Summer Yard Plans. We’ve been working slowly but surely filling in the gardens here and there; sprucing up our outdoor space. I’ve been waiting for things to bloom a bit so you can really see how it’s all coming together. With the tree’s finally in full bloom what better time to share what we’ve been up to than now.

Backyard plans with notes copy

But let’s quickly recap for a moment with a plan and a drawing. Because you know I love a good illustrated plan. Here’s a quick look at our long term plans for the yard. We were thinking about relocating the vegetable gardens and adding a garden in front of the above ground pool towards the lake side. One of the other things on the we really want to do someday list is to add a boardwalk type deck along the lake wall and a new floating dock. We also want to add some grass around the pool some hedges and finish it off with a path.

Hornbeam Image via

Of course one of the first things we decided to do wasn’t even on that list but it’s been something we’ve been talking about for a while. While browsing at the garden center of Home Depot in March my Mom spied a few Hornbeam trees. My mom and I talk about trees and shrubs just like we talk about the Pottery Barn catalog and the until now we haven’t been able to find them ANYWERE. These trees are pretty cool because you can let them grow naturally, like the image above. Or you can keep trimmed into to all different shapes, you can even keep them as a tall hedge.

Needless to say she snagged a few of them faster then you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. For a while now we’ve felt that the yard needed some vertical elements to break up the long horizontal line of the privacy fence while adding a smidge more privacy from the neighboring houses.

At the time they didn’t have any leaves on them but we planted them anyway knowing they’d soon be full and lush.

Hornbeam trees

That’s my Dad below, he is always digging and planting trees and shrubs, as long as I can remember my Dad has had a shovel in his hand digging up or moving something or other, usually under the direction of my Mom who happens to mysteriously absent from this shot.

Hornbeam Planting

Now just a few weeks later they’ve bloomed and have filled in nicely. Over time we plan to keep them trimmed to avoid them encroaching on the yard too much.


It’s certainly an improvement over how bare the fence was looking just a few short months ago.

Winter View

Now it’s lush and green and has filled in nicely.

Outdoor view 2

Hornbeam trees 2

So excited to see them fill in over time.

Summer Yard Plans



Hi everyone, Happy Spring, we’ve had wonderful weather and it has prompted us to head outside and get to work.  The past weekend involved lots of time spent outside and a trip to Home Depot to buy some plants and trees. Early spring is a great time for tree planting right before the leaves bloom.

High View point Lake View

But before I share what we’ve been working on outside I want to share what we’ve had in mind for the yard this summer and beyond as it continues to evolve and grow into a backyard retreat. When last we left off on the yard I had promised to share some plans we have to finish off the area of the yard that’s closest to the lake. Right now we have large amounts of white stone blanketing the entire area down there.

On of the least pleasant aspect of living on the water is spiders. Can I just say ew, ew eeeew! We have all kinds, small ones, HUGE ones and lots in between. We have what are called Fishing Spiders they don’t bite and generally stay in the water but can scare the begeezus out of you when they pop up out of no where. I won’t post a picture of them here because they make me cringe just to see them, but if you’re brave you can check one out here.  They are creepy, crawly, generally gross and the white stones make perfect spots for them and other random insects to crawl and hide. Needless to say we’re a little anxious to move the stones and confine them to the paths and walkways instead of spread out near the water.

Backyard plans with notes copy

But enough about spiders let’s take a look at my little preliminary drawing of how we’re thinking it’s all going to lay out. Of course some things will likely change as we go along. We’ll probably do some additional tweaks in other areas as well and our plans tend to get adjust over time but we always like to begin with a general idea of where we’re going to get things rolling.

#1 in our annotated sketch above is to move the vegetable gardens, we built them the first summer we moved into the house. They were great there for a while but we think they’d be better located just beyond the fence as you can see below. It’s pretty much dead space down there and needs some love. It’s a good spot to keep the vegetables tucked out of sight but still maintaining relatively easy access to them.

Back Yard

Admittedly it’s looking a little rough right now, but it’s been coming along slowly but surely.

Back Yard 2

#2 on the list is to add a new garden in front of the pool area, where the little guy is playing, and moving the pedal boat of course. We’re all about snagging some additional “lake appeal” wherever we can.

Although we love having a pool it sort of looks like a can of tuna especially with the cover on and all closed up for the winter.  The garden in front should camouflage some of that it will be rounded to match the curve of the pool. We’ll plant some tall flowing grasses some perennials to add color and maybe a few bushes which should go a long way to break up the gray exterior walls of the pool.

Back Yard 3

#3 and #4 on the list, include adding some seating areas along the “sea wall” You can see dirt in the photo below since the lake is still low from the winter. But during the summer the water sits right against the wall.

Back Yard 5

We’re going for something like the image below, with an additional larger area off to the side for a possible fire pit and a walkway with a floating dock that will lead out to a platform for sitting right on thee water. Picture Adirondack chairs, fire pits and dipping your toes in the lake as you drink in a cool refreshing glass of ice tea while simultaneously drinking in the view.

image via

#5 is all about adding some additional greenery and lushness through some much needed grassy areas. We’re really looking forward to the natural cooling properties of some lush green grass over the hot spidery stone that we have now. It’s incredibly hot in the summer due to the lack of shade and the reflective properties of the water and the stones are not helping that fact. We’ll also probably need to add some shade from a combination of trees and umbrellas to make it more comfortable during the hot summer months

#6 and #7, are about rounding up the white stones and moving them into manageable pathways, because let’s face it there are far too many of them to remove them all and not to mention we’re always down for using what you’ve got to keep costs down.

Back Yard 4

Along the path we’ll probably have another garden to break up the expanse of the privacy fence, which is way over 100 feet long and in desperate need of some shrubs to soften it up.

Hopefully all that will go a long way to add to the use we get out of this space. We love being outside and during the warm summer month we probably spend about 90% of our free time outside enjoying the lake and working on projects which we actually like to do. We’re definitely not just about the indoor projects around here outdoor projects top our list of things we love to do as well.

So is anyone else enjoying some lovely early spring weather like we are? Are you itching to take your project time outside? Do you like gardening or do you prefer other kinds of outdoor activates? Do tell.

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